Audit of Area 12 calls for answers

March 28, 2003 12:00 am

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

After a weeklong audit by the state, the Area 12 Agency on Aging was told it must account for more than $390,000 in expenditures.

State auditors also cited Area 12 for failing to monitor the companies that provide the agency's services, such as senior nutrition programs.

Despite the write-up and questioned funds, Area 12 officials said the audit was a success.

"(The auditor) was very pleased with the quality of our review," said Adam Emmer, site director for Area 12.

"It was a great audit," Area 12 Executive Director Peggy Lee said, adding that she's confident that the spending questions will soon be resolved.

Last week's audit was routine and happens every three years.

Area 12 provides senior nutrition programs for Calaveras, Tuolumne, Amador, Mariposa and Alpine counties. The agency has been the subject of scrutiny recently for running up a $43,000 deficit between July and January while operating meals programs for Calaveras County.

The agency recently stopped providing the Calaveras County meals and has hired companies from Tuolumne and Amador counties to handle those programs.

When Area 12 was last audited in 1998, Lee said auditors found $865,000 in discrepancies, $160,000 of which was never accounted for. Area 12 was also written up then for not monitoring its provider companies.

This time around, $393,345 was in question. Lee said it will take about three weeks to account for that money.

Lee also said Area 12 will soon hire a former state auditor to monitor the agency's providers from now on.

"We only got written up because we didn't go out and audit our providers," she said. "All the area agencies get written up for that."

Lee said $153,804 of the disputed money is actually in Area 12's coffers. She said some providers have not shown Area 12 that money was spent for its intended purpose, so they have yet to be reimbursed.